This post isn’t about some great DIY project, or a great recipe, or an interesting decorating topic. Instead, it includes some “Befores” and “Afters” that I have to say are a bit mundane. I hate to admit it but there are some chores that I seem to procrastinate. I really don’t know why, because once I finally attack them and they’re done, it’s very satisfying. I’ve had a mental list of chores that I know need to be done since we returned from our winter travels in March but I have been dreading and procrastinating getting to work on the list. I’m ashamed to admit that I have been putting these chores off for two months.
Well, I finally started whittling down that list last week. I got tough with myself and made a vow that I wouldn’t allow myself to work on any of the projects that I actually want to work on until I completed these chores that needed to be done!
The first, and frankly the biggest, of the dreaded chores was cleaning the oven. My range is old. It’s due for replacement later this year. Originally the oven had a self-cleaning feature, but that feature doesn’t function any longer because the lock on the oven door for the self-clean cycle will no longer lock. So, I have to clean the oven the old-fashioned way, with what is often referred to as elbow grease.
I am embarrassed ro show you that my oven was really shamefully in need of cleaning. The oven was used quite extensively last fall and through the holidays for baking and roasting, leaving it in serious need of cleaning. It was due for cleaning following the holidays, but of course we left town just three days after Christmas and didn’t return until March.
To clean the oven, I removed the oven racks. I lined the bathtub in the downstairs bathroom with old towels and filled the tub with water and placed the oven racks in the bathtub along with several dryer sheets. There is something in the dryer sheets that works on the burned on food on the racks and loosens it. Every few hours I would scrub them with a a scrubber to remove the portion that had loosened after soaking. I left them in the water overnight and the next day I was able to remove most of the remaining burned on debris. To remove the most stubborn bits that were still left, I used a steel wool scrubber.
I try to use chemical-free natural cleaning products as much as possible. To clean the oven, I filled a spray bottle with a couple of ounces of Dawn dish detergent, white vinegar, and water. I sprayed the walls of the oven with this mixture and then sprinkled a liberal amount of baking soda in the oven. I used a gloved hand to blend the liquid and baking soda into a paste. I left the paste in the oven overnight and the next morning wiped everything down and rinsed with clean water. There were some stubborn areas left which I scrubbed lightly with steel wool.
Viola! Sparkling! It feels so great to see a nice clean oven when I open the oven door. It was a big job, but I don’t know why I waited so long to tackle this chore.
The next dreaded, procrastinated chore was reorganizing the cupboards under our kitchen sink. Over time they’d become pretty disheveled. Some time ago I put up a tension rod under the sink in order to “hook” the spray bottles pf cleaners over the rod. It’s a Pinterest idea that I thought I would try. Well, the first tension rod I purchased was too tiny and wouldn’t support the weight of the spray bottles. So I got a bigger, stronger tension rod. Both rods are seen just tossed under the sink in the “Before” photo below. In the “After” photo, I have installed the larger one and removed the smaller. We’ll see how this idea works over time.
The back of this cupboard has a thick electrical wire running through it to provide power to the dishwasher that is to the left. The wire has quite a bit of slack, so it was kind of hanging down in the back and it was interfering with what I could place back there. To hold it up and out of the way, I installed two Command hooks on the back wall of the cabinet.
It worked so well that I decided to add another Command hook to hold the extra length of the garbage disposal electrical cord as well. So now these cords are up and out of the way.
The third procrastinated chore was to go through the contents of the downstairs bathroom linen closet and purge, including purging prescription and over-the-counter medications which are stored in some containers in the linen closet. I purged all the out-of-date medications and I got rid of some of the older towels that we haven’t been using. Here are the before and after shots of the closet.
So, after just a couple of days, three fourths of my “Dreaded/Procrastinated Chores” list is done. I am looking forward to finishing the remaining chore in the next day or two so that I can move on to finishing a sewing project that I began several months ago. And to some gardening. And to other planned projects.
What are your most dreaded chores? Or am I the only one who does this?
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